The Microsoft MVP program gets some cosmetic lifting

MVP

Microsoft today announced that they are going to shrink the number of MVP categories existing so far..  Steve ‘Guggs’ Guggenheimer said hat Microsoft is going to move from 36 technical expertise areas to about 10, new, more broader categories, encompassing some 90 contribution areas.

For us Dynamics GP MPV’s this means that our number is going to grow significantly with the consolidation of all the Dynamics ERP product lines, and surprisingly ‘Project’ server (don’t really get that… ). The new Category would be labelled ‘Business Solutions’ (that’s not really a surprise and makes sense).

This means that from current 18 MVP’s the GP group counts today (David being the latest addition, for now showing up as Anonymous on the MVP site), the new Category will grow up to 212 (as per today). That’s over 10 times the number of members. Not saying this is bad, some other current groups having 100 times more members, after all the whole MVP program has over 4500 members today.

To the root question : is this good or bad ? We have an opportunity to start discussing those changes right away next week when over 50% of the Dynamics GP MVP’s will gather at an evening event in Reno during the GPUG Summit. It’s certailnly going to be an interesting debate, and as the MVP Summit in Seattle is in less than a month away.. it’s the right moment to talk about.

Meet you all next week #INreno15
Until next,
@GP_Beat

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Categories: MVP, Summit 2015 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

It’s official, say hello to David Musgrave MVP!

Today is October 1st and a new round of MVP’s have been awarded for the first time or renewed their previous title.
I’m very happy to see that our friend David Musgrave from DU (Down Under) in Perth, WA, has been awarded the prestigious title after so many years helping the Dynamics GP community.
Welcome David to what is probably the smallest MVP group of the world ! See you soon in Reno.

David Musgrave's Winthrop Development Consultants Blog

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI have been involved with the Great Plains / Microsoft Dynamics GP Community for many years and for much of that time I have been friends with some of the most knowledgeable and helpful people in the community.

A number of these friends have been recognised by Microsoft for their contributions by being awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status.

View original post 290 more words

Categories: Dynamics GP | Leave a comment

The All-New-GPPT finally released… in BETA.

It was worth the waiting … on July 7th, David Musgrave finally announced the long waited successor of the Support Debugging Tool (aka #SDT), under the new name GP PowerTools (#GPPT).

Soon as I got the link to the download area, I went to pick up the firt built of the new package and the next day installed it.. and there is when I ran into troubles.. I had previously applied on my GP2015 test bed system upgrades to go from GP2010R2 to GP2013R2, and 2015 RTM, so I was coming from a previous release of SDT that was running fine under GP2013R2, and still had all the references in 2015.. Since I couldn’t survive without the SDT very long, Dave was kind enough to provide me a pre-build for 2015 of the actual SDT, so I could test properly the new GP.

That being said, the new setup of the GPPT comes with a few tricks if you already have an old SDT installed… and you need to be careful the way you apply the update.  I don’t wanna repeat what David already wrote, so for more details about what to care for to install the new #GPPT, go and have a look at today’s blog post about the public BETA setup.

The current BETA release has a time-bomb built-in that will expire the product on August 15th, 2015. By that time David will either have released another BETA with an extended expiration date, or feel confident enough that #GPPT is ready for prime-time release on the commercial level. Yes.. the new #GPPT will no longer be available for free since David doesn’t work anymore for Microsoft and has to work hard to get the bread on the table too :-).. But  the inital launch price should be very affordable at 365$/yr and everyone should get a license to support that super tool that took years of development to reach this level of quality (that’s less than a coffee cup a day !). Just the current BETA release required several hundred hours of work to add in new features and functionality that will make you fall in love again with GP’s administration (in case you just divorced from it 🙂 )..

Here are a few ones just to show you.

  • The Company selection screen. David included some of it’s VBA code that he wrote in the past to allow to enlarge the company selection list from the login screen, because sometimes it was very hard to figure out which company to select when they all started with the same or similar names.. To enable this feature you have to navigate into the GPPT Administrator Settings > Company tab, and in the middle of the screen, check the box called ‘Add extra width to company name drop down list…’
GP widen Login screen

GP widen Login screen

  • Another one I love is the all new Security Log enabler.. in the old #SDT when a user had security issues, you would walk up (or connect) to the end-user and start the security profiler to track what’s causing the issue, then export the log to XML by file or e-mail, re-import it with your POWERUSER role user and load the profiler trace to figure out what’s not working.  The new Security Log allows you to enable all this directly from your workstation on the product level itself. To enable this, you navigate again to the Administrator Settings > General tab, and at the bottom check the box “Enable Security Activity Tracking”.

    Centralized Security tracking log

    Centralized Security tracking log

  • Finally another nugget is the fact that you can now setup a different password for the GPPT administrator and for the System protected area password. This way you can delegate or share some of the powerful functions of GPPT without revealing the system password.

    Image 2015-07-08_134943

    Dedicated GPPT Admin password

Lots of new functions to still discover, so stay tuned as I’m going to report more about my findings on the new #GPPT.

Until next post, have a great time.

@GP_Beat

Categories: Dynamics GP, GPPT - GP Power Tools, SDT - Support Debugging Tool, System Administration | Leave a comment

Windows Phone 10 TP, worth a trial ?

So I made the jump this Friday night and decided to take a look at the Windows Phone 10 Technical Preview (TP) that Microsoft offers to download and install on any Lumia phone that is part of their compatibility list..

My Nokia Lumia 920 was on the list so I installed the ‘Microsoft Insider’ apps from the Windows Store that Microsoft makes available for all those that are willing to sacrifice their loved device… Be warned (and so does MS), never try that with a phone that you rely on a daily basis to make phone calls and send/receive text messages… the TP might still be full of bugs and their is no real support you can expect either from MS or your carrier… only the Insider Forums..

So Microsoft provides plenty of explanation on how to do the upgrade and why you should do it, especially for the all new internet browser called Spartan and the new maps application… that was enough to convince me to do the jump.Image 2015-04-27_092152

Have you seen any phone company that offers a free app to try out the next major release of its OS ? no one except Microsoft ! Go to the Windows Phone App store and download the “Windows Insider” application. Once this is installed, you can use the link inside the app to get the latest preview build (TP) for your phone… it downloads and installs it on your phone without for you to do any cryptic intervention like it’s often the case when you want to test out the next Beta version of Android… and any other flavor derived from that OS.

Now be warned about the comments other users make about this application… it’s not that the app doesn’t do what it is supposed to do, what the outcome of that process… Once your phone was fully upgraded to Win10 TP, it reboots a couple of times to complete the installation and than you should (hopefully) get a brand new working OS… or so I thought.

My experience with the WP10 TP was less then pleasant since I ran into multiple issues with my installed applications that I had on WP 8.1 (and I have quite a few ones).. Microsoft was touting its new Bing map application that’s supposed to replace all the “Here” Nokia apps for all the range covered by them (Here Drive+ Car GPS with driving directions, google like maps with satellite, Here Transit for public transportation and City Lense, just to name a few). The problem was that after the update, none of those apps worked anymore and the embedded Bing Map neither did.. In WP 8.1 there is a feature to download your own maps to have them even when your off-line (no network), so you can use your GPS application even outdoor in the wood when trekking in remote locations with not network coverage…  or when travelling overseas, it is very handy to download the country or region maps on your phone, so you can save yourself the renting of a Car GPS (which car rent agencies are proud to offer you for 10$/day… what a shame).

Not deterred by the issues with the maps, I tried to fix the problem by removing the old downloaded maps and re-install them… no success. The system kept telling me that the maps were invalid, but when trying to delete them, was always saying they were locked by another process (which was not true…). I kept going with other applications test, which most didn’t worked and above all, everything was much smaller on the screen than with WP 8.1.. somehow Microsoft thought it was a great idea to pack more on the same pixel density, ending up to make it so small that average people have a hard time to read it.. The Lumia 920 has a pretty high DPI, which makes it for a great crisp display, but that doesn’t mean you should use it in a way that from now on you need a looking glass to decrypt your phone.

After my phone self-rebooted a couple of time with the message “your phone runs too hot, need to shutdown”.. which was true, I never had experienced my 920 running that much hot.. the rare occasion this happens is when I use it in my car as GPS and it’s plugged on the charger at the same time, but never to this extend.  I ended up to decide that this new build is definitely not worth the upgrade, nor do I think will I do it when WP10 will officially be released, even after several months of GA, until other users from the Lumia community can confirm that it runs stable and MS has fixed most of the concerns.

Now the bad part. Microsoft touted that it is as easy to roll back from the WP10 TP as it is to upgrade.. at least many people say so… but I found out the hard way that for some strange reasons, at least 10-15% of users that installed the TP could not… they either got stuck within the middle of the rollback process, basically ending with bricked phones, or the Windows application on your desktop would simply not recognize your phone as a device to be rolled-back (which was my case)… So off I was to find another solution. I first tried a factory reset, which didn’t helped at all, making things even worse. I then found this thread on Windows Central, but after several failed attempts with Nokia Care to flash my 920, I had to find another solution (curiously this was working fine the last time I upgraded my WP 8.0 to 8.1…).

It was finally on the good old XDA-Dev forums that I found the answer to recover my bricked 920.. The post there explained how you needed to download the firmware image (FFU file) and use Microsoft’s Windows Phone Image Designer. With this tool and my original FFU that I had kept from my past 8.1 upgrade, I was able on the first attempt to re-image my Lumia 920 and recover it, fully functional. The system does even go to the Windows Store and re-install most of your apps after your link and login your phone with your Live.com account. It did also proceed to download the latest 8.1 updates and install them without any hiccups. All my Noka Here apps where back and working again. The only thing that I lost in the process were a couple of application data that I thought had been automatically backed up on my OnDrive account, but turned out not to be the case.. not the end of the world, but reminds me to check this before I try another upgrade the next time.

It is only after I experienced the whole process that I went on to the Microsoft Insider forums to read on about other user’s problems with the TP10 upgrade and roll-back… Partially It was to provide a feedback too myself to Microsoft, and also to realize that I was not the only one that had severe issues in the upgrade process, and that Microsoft needs to work very hard to fix all those problems before they are going on GA for WP10.

If you have a week-end to kill and it’s rainy outside, and you own a Windows Phone device, go and try it… I think the new OS is a nice evolution of the system, but it’s just not ready for prime-time yet.

Until Next, have a great time.
@GP_Beat

Categories: Fun, MVP, Windows Phone | Tags: | 1 Comment

My Journey to the Dynamics GP MVP Award

Now that April 1st is behind us and this would no longer fall for an April fool, I can officially anounce the good news.. I’m now part of the big ‘small’ family of the very ‘select’ Dynamic GP MVP group.

1780.mvp_horizontal_fullcolor.png-550x0_thumb[2]

It’s great because of all the GREAT people that make this group a real family… and it’s probably the smallest MVP group dedicated to a Microsoft product : there are only 15 active Dynamics GP MVP’s around the world with 2 new ones added on April 1st, 2015, with myself and Mahmoud AlSaadi.  And it looks like I’m the only Canadian one as far as I could inquire from the official Microsoft MVP site, which means either that Kanuks are not big Dynamics GP fans or that it is just too cold and people spend more time shovelling snow around half of the year then caring about Great Plains :-)…

Hold on !  Great Plains.. isn’t that a place somewhere in the middle of North America, where all the crop farms are ? we have some provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba that are actually sharing that qualification: always windy, hot in the summer and darn cold in the winter. There is no spring or fall season… just winter and summer. Reminds me when I was in Fargo in 2011 in March and it was no different from Montreal at this time of the year.

That said, I would never have imagined that when I started to work in 2003 with Dynamics Great Plains (aka GP) that one day I would end up being one the few subject matter experts for that product… quite a long way since those first days where I was hired to do some process rework for a manufacturing company to optimize the production forecast with big Excel workbooks. In those days I was relying on the newsgroup forums (only a few ones dedicated to GP) that were barely monitored by Microsoft, but mostly by dedicated users like Mariano Gomez and David Musgrave, to only name a few.

It was after a few years later that I really understood the power of the ‘community’ when Microsoft took back control of the newsgroups and put them into a controlled environment to be able to better ‘moderate’ the discussions and keep the spammers away from the subjects. Since those days I was grateful already for the numerous tips and hints that I had received from other users, that I seamlessly started to give back what I had received during a few years.

During the life I spent in IT (which covers almost 30 years back in the early 80’s), I always made a point to keep up with the latest technology and try to be ahead of everyone else, mostly by educating myself or getting ad-hoc training for the products I was working with. I never really had a mentor as such, since most of the people I was working with always came to me to ask questions… The wheel turned and one day it happened that I was myself asking for questions about a product I had no idea how to work with. As my motto has always been “if you know how to do it, you’ll save yourself lots of trouble in the future”, so rather then relying on a partner to fix problems, I just looked around on the net.. that was when started the long Journey about my apprenticeship with Dynamics GP :-).

I’m happy with the road I decided to go at that time since it opened me already much better opportunities in my professional work back in 2009 and many others that came along when joining the GPUG community. Today I’m at a point I only dreamed about several years when looking at all those MVP VIP’s (Valuable Informed People) that where providing advice and technical content to others in need. I’m now too one of the very few Dynamics GP SME (Subject Matter Experts) around the world and hope it’s only the beginning of another lengthy joyful journey.

Thank you all for your support and recognition. Looking forward to more exciting online & in-person discussions.

Until next post..

@GP_Beat

Categories: All Stars, Dynamics GP, GPUG, MVP, News | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

The All New TWMBSSDGPPPSATPLCPAT4MSDGP… without me !

For quite a few weeks/months there were uncertainty about the outcome of the SDT (aka Support Debugging Tool) for Dynamics GP. As my good friend David Musgrave had been left in the dust by Microsoft due to the high speed of the all new GP 2015 not being able to wait on the aging SDT, nobody knew would happen in the future.

I was holding my breath hopping that David would be able to #FreeTheCode of the SDT from the #WorldCompany Microsoft, as it was mostly his baby that he raised over the years, though while he was working for Microsoft, but still genetically the creator of the SDT. My guess that Microsoft would loose the tie quite quickly as they had no idea how to decipher the spaghetti code behind that tool (even Edward Snowden was not able to)… and finally a few weeks back David confirmed (just before Convergence 2015) that he got the intellectual property of the code back with some exclusive rights to use.

Then shortly after he started a poll to rebirth the SDT under a new name and was gathering all kinds of suggestions, including my own for the “Dynamics GP Power Tools” which gathered a whooping 45%… So hope was there that we would soon get a brand new tool that would hold on par with the “high speed” GP 2015 and its super-duper Web Client..

Oh Boy ! how foolish was I … Today David announced against all odds that the “Next Generation” of SDT would be called TWMBSSDGPPPSATPLCPAT4MSDGP !  Yes you read that right… be prepared for some tongue twisting. How can someone expect to be able to remember that name ? don’t even think about spelling it out ? Imagine yourself talking to your partner on the phone and asking for the “The Winthrop Microsoft Business Solutions Support Debugging Great Plains Pro Power System Administrator Toolbox Pack Library Control Panel Assistant Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP”. It’s likely partner will have hung the phone up before you even ended talking…

And that’s why I decided to speak up and use my brand new freshly awarded status as Dynamics GP MVP and my influential position as @GPUG All Star, to encourage everyone that is using the old SDT and frantically waiting on the new offspring to openly boycott David’s product… No one should be fool enough to get talked into using such a product with an un-pronounceable name.

Please spread your voice out on Twitter and the community blogs & forums to stand up against such a stupidity and convince David to get a more reasonnable name. Use hashtags like #FreeDavidsCode, #MSDynGPofApril1st and #MVPBustingSDT.

Until next post,

@GP_Beat

 

Categories: All Stars, Dynamics GP, Fun, GPUG, SDT - Support Debugging Tool | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Convergence 2015 – Atlanta (traveling)

So one year more has passed by and I’m already heading for Atlanta (again…sigh) to Convergence 2015. I hope Microsoft can come up for next year’s convention for some nice city with a nice convention center… Atlanta’s GWCC is so big that you have to walk a lot every day and your feets are suffering quite a bit from this… at least it keeps you fit. I remember the first year in Atlanta (2010) when some ISV handed out to visitors or customers some pedometer to measure the distance they had walked during the week and it was quite astonishing… especially the first year the meal hall was far away from the session rooms and you had a long distance to travel… as it was also the case for the key note speeches… Last year they found it more practical to hold the key notes in the Philips Arena across the street of the GWCC… which was not a bad idea.. However the big reception party was hold outside in a nice location before and was not moved inside the Arena (for two years in a row), which is not so nice… I loved the party in the park from New Orleans, though it was cold and windy that evening (2013).

So what is to expect this year ? no big announcements, since GP 2015 was already released in December 2014… My guess is that it will all revolve around the Azure Cloud services and the web client improvement / extensions. I’m already exited with the key note speeches from tomorrow Monday as no one else then Satya Nadela will take the stage for the opening of Convergence 2015.

I’ll have myself 2 sessions co-presented with some GPUG fellows and our group will also include our “Mama” Kim Peterson, as she had to jump in for Aaron Back that had to cancel his participation at last minute. Don’t miss a chance to get some good insider tips & tricks from GPUG All Stars in session ID15G008-R1   on  3/17/2015 from 3:30PM – 4:30PM   in room   A307. The session will be repeated on 3/18/2015 from 2:00PM – 3:00PM   in room    A307.

I can’t wait to be in Atlanta to connect back with all my GP fellows and friends for an MVP gathering tonight. Will try to post some pictures if I’m not too tired after that :-).

Have a nice Sunday and a great week.

Until Next,
@GP_Beat

Categories: Dynamics GP, GPUG | Tags: | Leave a comment

The dreadful 1-minute refresh cycle of MR2012 DataMart

When Microsoft introduced the DataMart connector in Management Reporter 2012 (aka MR2012) back in 2012 with the RU3 release, they probably didn’t put much tought into the fact that some users are running multiple GP companies up to several dozen databases on the same SQL instance… Although at the time one of the benefits that were put in the head lights was the performance enhancements that the DataMart was supposedly provide.

When the RU3 release came out, I installed it on my TEST bed GP server where I had already a copy of MR2012 installed to have a simulation environment for upgrades. We only run about a half-dozen GP companies with financial data and two consolidation companies for the eliminations. Though our CFO never really was impressed by the performance of MR since it took over FRx 6.7 in our company, he wanted to believe that over time the product would improve and become a solid replacement candidate for FRx. Needless to say, it took us about one year of parallel testing for financial reports between MR 2.0 (at the time) and FRx before deciding to dump FRx as the company’s financial reporting tool and make the jump to MR 2012.

With the time the performance of the product improved and it became more stable and less prone to bugs and various errors of unknown nature. So when the DataMart was introduced, I tested it on my GP test system and was expecting the so-promised performance improvement over the “Legacy Connector”, especially when it came to consolidated reports across multiple companies… The first impression was not really ‘impressive’… I would even say that the DataMart was slower then the Legacy connector to complete the generation process and open MR Viewer.. The other drawback was that the initial version of DM didn’t support Multi-Currency reporting, a feature we absolutely needed, given our international business and presence with our various GP companies.

One other drawback I learned the day RU3 was installed on my TEST GP system was the fact that there was now a service from MR that was permanently connected to all my GP databases that were “integrated” with MR 2012 using the DataMart connector. Every time I needed to restore one of my production databases to my GP Test server I had first to stop the MR services that run in the background to allow access to my SQL DB’s.

Another thing I realized also pretty soon as I’m monitoring very closely my various SQL servers in the company and keep an eye on the performance, catching processes that could trigger some phone calls by the end-users, was the unusual activity going on. My SQL server on my GP test server was doing some strange tasks every minute or so, that would use quite a good chunk of CPU from my system… something I wasn’t really comfortable with. The process was hitting about 60-70% of my CPU capacity and last for about 12-15 seconds every minute… My I/O state would also show some disk activity that shows some 5-6 Mb was read and written every minute.. Not that it was taking very long, but it was annoying. In some cases, the CPU would even hit almost 100%.

MR2012_CU10_DataMart_refresh_cycle_1min

Process Explorer shows CPU activity on SQL server

I tried to get in touch with Microsoft about this and after a couple of e-mail exchanges I got a confirmation that this was “by design” for the new DataMart connector to allow for the refresh of the financial data of the GP companies. I must confess that when I first installed the new release with the DM, I was very disappointed as in my mind ‘DataMart’ was sounding like ‘Data Warehouse’ and thought that Microsoft would finally make the jump and build an Analysis Cube for the GP financial data that would be used by MR 2012… Boy was I wrong !.. After the installation of the new connector, I was the proud owner of another new flat database called ‘ManagementReporterDM’.

I discussed the issue with the performance hit on the SQL server with Microsoft and explained that I found that a default refresh value of 1 minute for the GP Financial was quite a little bit overkill, especially when you think that it is most of the time for financial reports about month-end data for the past months… usually historical data between your last month closing and YTD. So I wont really see the benefits of refreshing the data that much often. I have other HR Analysis Cubes on my SQL server that refresh twice a day ! and that’s even more then enough…

My main grip and argument towards Microsoft was the fact that this refresh rate was out of user control, and there was no place you could act on this settings in the MR 2012 configuration console. As a reply to this, Microsoft sent me a SQL script that I could use (with great care of course, and no liability from them 🙂 ) to find out in the MR 2012 configuration database what current settings are active.

/************************************************************************************
This scripts reads out some of the important MR2012 system parameters that are
scheduled to be refreshed on regular intervals.
Pick the trigger ID that needs to be changed and update the value with the second
statement below
(c) April Olson, MS, 2014-04-14
************************************************************************************/

SELECT t.id AS TaskID
, t.name
, ts.StateType
, ts.Progress
, ts.LastRunTime
, ts.NextRunTime
, tr.IsEnabled
, tr.Interval
, tr.UnitOfMeasure
, tr.id AS TriggerID
FROM
scheduling.Task t JOIN scheduling.TaskState ts ON t.id = ts.TaskId
JOIN Scheduling.[trigger] tr ON t.TriggerId = tr.id
WHERE TypeId = ’55D3F71A-2618-4EAE-9AA6-D48767B974D8′;

The result would be something like this :

Scheduled Tasks in MR2012 related to data refresh

Scheduled Tasks in MR2012 related to data refresh

In this case the value we’re looking for is the TriggerID (original field ‘ID’ from the trigger table) for the Task Name that is called ‘GL Transaction to Fact’. You may see several other entries with the value ‘Interval’ set to 1, in my case above I already changed many of the them to a 5 minute interval. The statement you’ll need to execute to change the refresh interval would look like this :

update scheduling.[trigger] set Interval = 5 where ID = ‘A4A77F6F-4310-492F-BA02-953CBB395093’

This will uptdate the trigger schedule table and you’ll almost instantly see the difference on your SQL server.. there is no need to restart your MR services. The UnitOfMeasure value of the table seem to carry different effects, as I’ve seen the dates in the NextRunTime field set apart of 24hrs from the LastRunTime value, and the interval was still = 1. My findings so far are that the UoM = 2 is for Minutes, and UoM = 4 is for Days.. so maybe 3 = Hours…

The new refresh cycle set to 5 minutes interval.

The new refresh cycle set to 5 minutes interval.

Try it out and maybe you’ll be able to find the best settings for your setup. As always, never carry those tweaking on your production system without having tested it out first in a development or test environment. Also, do a full backup of your MR databases in case something goes wrong. I’ve heard from some end-users that have to struggle with some 50-100 GP companies and the 1-minute refresh cycle is definitely not appropriate for situations like this… the whole refresh cycle can’t even run to the end as the next cycle is already triggered by the system..

Read more about the thread in the Dynamics Community here.

I’d warmly suggest to Microsoft to reconsider the possibility in a future release of MR 2012 to make these settings accessible to the MR2012 Configuration Console, so at least the system administrator has a control of it.

Until next post…

 

PS: I’ve created a new ticket on Microsoft Connect that you can vote for here (you need to be registered to vote)

Categories: Dynamics GP, MR2012 - Management Reporter | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

First GPUG local chapter meeting for Montreal QC

Friday Nov. 21st was the first local GPUG chapter meeting held in the brand new offices of Microsoft downtown Montreal. The meeting was scheduled from 8:30am to noon, but I showed up there five minutes before eight to be sure that everything was ready in time. I arrived at the door at the same moment as the nice lady from the reception and we had a short chat about the company I’m working for, which she found very interesting  (who’s not fascinated by CSI Miami😊?), before she led me to the room that was reserved for the meeting.

The New Microsoft Offices in Montreal

The New Microsoft Offices in Montreal

 

The new conference rooms are really nice and the setup was quick and easy (kudos to that new control console for the projector in form of a mini touch pad). The first attendees arrived already ahead of time at 8:00 and were promptly headed to the room.. At 8:30 we had 4 attendees in the room, out of the 8 that had registered to the meeting… so we waited a little moment more, starting to chat about GPUG and the recent Summit in St-Louis. Shortly after arrived the catering service with coffee, some pastries and fruits.. Thank You GPUG for this sweet attention.

As no other participants showed up, we decided to start the meeting and went on with the opening of the session and starting the discussion about kicking off a new local chapter in Montréal. The discussion went on well for about 20 minutes to explain what the purpose and the benefits of a local GPUG Chapter are.

After that brief intro, we moved to the actual meat of the morning, an educational session about Disaster Recovery Planning for Dynamics GP, a session that I had presented at the GPUG Summit in St-Louis last month. The PowerPoint material can be found here : GPA01-GPUGSummit2014_SessionDeck_DisasterRecovery.

After the session presentation and a short cofee break, it was time to have a brief review of the previous month’s GPUG Summit 2014 in St-Louis, MO. The video below will provide you a quick glimpse of what the event was like.

Here is also a short presentation of the next GPUG Summit 2015 destination, the beautiful Reno Lake Tahoe in Nevada.

RenoTahoeLogoBadge_CMYK_Orange_VisitRenoTahoe_REV-Outlined-Fonts-w-URL-(1)

 

The meeting went on with the presentation of member’s showcase, as I made a half-hour introduction of Ultra-Electronics Forensic Technology Inc., also known as FTI. I went thru the history of the company and our current position in the market, with a presence in more than 60 countries around the world, and being a leader in the domain of ballistic identification. More about FTI can be found here : http://forensictechnology.com/about/

 

Ultra Electronics acquires Forensic Technology

I think I was able to capture the audience with the presentation of our company, especially when considering that most people associate Forensics with the CSI TV show (see more about this here). However, not many people know that the ballistic identification system that is used in the TV show is really an full working IBIS station that FTI sold to the producer many years ago. For those who want to know more about our company, there is a full load of brochure to download from our site.

As we came to the end of the morning, it was time to wrap the meeting and head back to our respective offices. My feeling is that it was a first step into what I hope will be a long successful local GPUG Chapter. Despite the fact that we were only five people attending this first meeting, I’m confident that we’ll be able to build a strong chapter. From the discussion that I had with one of the present partner, there seems to be way over 300 customers using Dynamics Great Plains in the greater Montreal area, so there is definitely room for more members :-).

For now, there were no nomination to fill the position for the local chapter, but I welcome any member to register and fill for a position.Below is an excerpt from the GPUG Chapter manual :

Local Chapter Leadership Roles
Persons leading Chapters must be Microsoft Dynamics GP Users. The roles defined below, provide guidelines
for what common duties are necessary for a smooth running chapter:
Chair Person

  • Oversees delivery of and facilitates Chapter Meetings
  • Serves as a point person to GPUG and represents the chapter
  • Communicates final agenda, location, schedule and other items needed to execute the meetings
  • Helps find and selects subject matter experts who can help present
  • Oversees survey/feedback/continuous improvement of their chapter
  • Provides feedback to GPUG on topics, presenters, member participation
  • Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible

Co-Chair Person

  • Will assist in sharing duties with Chair Person

Vice Chair for Membership

  • Oversees chapter membership roster for accuracy and completeness
  • Welcomes attendees, updates attendance reports and submits to GPUG
  • Generates creative ideas to drive User and Partner attendance
  • Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible

Vice Chair for Communication

  • Oversees communication to members at a local level via GPUG Collaborate, social media, etc.
  • Assists in driving attendance by utilizing the GPUG membership directory, partners, ISVs
  • Document activities of meetings, presenters and topics and record Chapter history
  • Submits summary of meeting for GPUG Magazine (photos are great)
  • Participates in GPUG Chapter Leadership calls and training when possible

 

The following openings are available :

  1. Co-Chair Person
  2. Vice Chair for Membership
  3. Vice Chair for Communication

GPUG has a great wealth of material to support the regional chapters and provides also the logistics to help organize the meetings, so there isn’t really a giant amount of prep work, except to plan at least two presentations for each meeting.

The 2015 Meeting Dates have been set and should help everyone to plan accordingly their attendance :

1. Wednesday Feb. 18th, 2015
2. Wednesday April 15th, 2015
3. Wednesday Aug. 19th, 2015
4. Wednesday Nov. 18th, 2015

The meetings for Q1/Q2 will be held in Microsoft’s offices downtown Montréal, from 8:30 to Noon again. For the second part of the year, we might be able to have them organized at one of the members corporate office and take the opportunity for a member showcase.

Some of the 2015 Meeting Topics that were suggested:

1. GP 2015 & GP 2013
2. GP Web Client
3. Support Debugging Tool
4. BI & Reporting/Project Accounting

 I want to Thank again here the people from Microsoft Canada in Montreal, especially Stephan Mondoux for inviting us to use their brand new meeting rooms, and of course Whitney Derks & Jennifer Dufresne from GPUG for arranging the catering. Thank you also to the participants that took some time off from their work to attend this event.

The goal for next year is to spread the word and try double the number of attendees we had for this first meeting. Until then, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Your truthfully  chapter Chair Person.

PS: Bellow is the link for the regional GPUG Chapter certificate.

Canada-Quebec_GPUG 2014 Chapter Certificate

Categories: Dynamics GP, GPUG | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Wrap-UP from this year’s GPUG Summit 2014

So the Summit 2014 is behind us and St-Louis too (as are the Cardinals 🙂 ).
What to retain from this years event ? First of all, I must confess that the 3-4 days flew by like nothing and Friday PM was here before I could even notice it… that’s a good sign, since I was so busy that I didn’t had the time to get bored.
My take away ? GP 2015 is coming and this is sooner then we thought ! Official release date is December 1st, 2014. Yes Madam ! right before the Christmas shopping rally… so you get something to put under your tree for your boss. See my recap of Day 1 about the presentation for GP’s Road-map that was done by Eroll Schoenfish and Jef Trosen from Microsoft Fargo.

My second biggest gift from this year’s event was the opening keynote with Andy Hafer when he announced that the attendees had broken the 900 participants this year, from which 47% were first-comers. After which he briefly introduced the invited speaker Steve Rizzo, a fantastic & funny motivational speaker, that knows how to make you laugh every day. His medicine is actually very simple and the prescription is free : Every Morning when you wake up, start to thing about something laughable and you’ll start with a great day. Do this for one month, and you’ll soon discover that your life gets along much easier and worry-less.

I couldn’t complete here without mentioning all the nice friends and people I met this year (or met back again), especially when it comes to all the users from the community that you encounter almost every day on the GPUG Collaborate site and for who you can finally put a face and a voice on it :-).

To conclude this wrap-up, it has to be said that we got the information about the next GPUG Summit location very late compared to other UG’s and it’s a pleasure to tell you that it will be in the sunny (hopefully) Reno-Tahoe Nevada region. Check the video bellow from the people in Reno that shows you what to expect next year.

Categories: Dynamics GP, GPUG, News, Summit 2014 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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